8 Skywatching Events You and Your Kids Won't Want to Miss in 2012

Dylan has started to take an interest in the moon, stars and all things celestial. I am taking full advantage of his newfound interest, because there’s little that I enjoy more than sitting outside on a warm Summer night, with a glass of wine, watching the night sky.

It is so beautiful and there’s something incredibly peaceful and calming about it.

I’m hoping to be able to get the boys outside throughout the year to see some of the shows that the night sky will put on for us, so I was thrilled to run across an MSNBC article detailing some of the best skywatching events of 2012. I put together the events that are tops on my list, and have already added reminders to my phone.

You can check them out below.

For more information, plus details on a few more celestial events, including two solar eclipses, go here.

  • January 4 – Quadrantid Meteor Shower 1 of 8
    January 4 - Quadrantid Meteor Shower
    After 3am, when the moon sets, observers may see as many as 50-100 of these blueish meteors per hour.
    Photo Credit
  • February 20 – March 12 – Evening View of Mercury 2 of 8
    February 20 - March 12 - Evening View of Mercury
    Mercury will be visible soon after sunset, and will be brightest before March 5th. Jupiter and Venus will also be visible to those of us on the Western side of the country.
    Photo Credit
  • March 3 – Mars at Opposition 3 of 8
    March 3 - Mars at Opposition
    Mars will be visible to the naked eye and can be seen in the sky all night long.
    Photo Credit
  • March 13 – Double Planet 4 of 8
    March 13 - Double Planet
    At their closest points on this night, the two brightest planets, Venus & Jupiter, will be visible in the Western sky shortly after Sunset. On March 25 & 26, the Moon will join in and all three will be in close proximity.
    Photo Credit
  • May 5 – Largest Full Moon 5 of 8
    May 5 - Largest Full Moon
    In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the full moon reaches its closest point to Earth, for the entire year, just before midnight.
    Photo Credit
  • August 12 – Perseid Meteor Shower 6 of 8
    August 12 - Perseid Meteor Shower
    The moon won't be bright enough to outshine this year's Perseid Meteor Shower. Observers may see as many as 90 meteors an hour.
    Photo Credit
  • December 13 & 14 – Geminid Meteor Shower 7 of 8
    December 13 & 14 - Geminid Meteor Shower
    The New Moon won't detract from this impressive meteor display. At it's peak, observers could see as many as 120 meteors per hour!
    Photo Credit
  • December 25 – Moon & Jupiter 8 of 8
    December 25 - Moon & Jupiter
    On Christmas night, Jupiter will be helping the Moon guide Santa back home. It will be visible just above the Moon for all to see.
    Photo Credit

(Photo Credit)

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